The food industry will face its fair share of challenges over the next decade and it’s difficult to imagine what it will look like in 2030, according to a new report. In “The Future of Food & Drink 2030,” a World Global Style Network report, the authors wrote that the food and beverage industry is resilient and “will always rise to the situation.”
One of the ways it will do this is keeping up with the growing demand for plant-based protein alternatives. Consumers are attracted to plant-based products that satisfy their wants while simultaneously offering a product that is similar in taste and texture to animal meat.
Traditional Meat Companies Enter The Space
Publicly traded Beyond Meat Inc and privately owned rival Impossible Foods are among the few plant-based food makers with existing retail distribution. They are also among the few with large-scale and global production distribution agreements, especially in China.
Traditional big meat companies like Tyson Foods, Inc. and Kellogg Company are expanding their footprint into faux burgers, meatballs and nuggets.
“Leading players such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat will continue to gain growth, but many others will have joined the fray by then, alongside growth from other protein areas such as insects,” the report said.
Plant-Based Food As A Complement
Plant-based food makers are focused on gaining market share from traditional meat eaters, rather than just vegans and vegetarians. In fact, the majority of plant-based food buyers are those looking for the meat alternative product to be a complement rather than a full replacement.
Meat will always be considered as a “specialism and a treat,” with meat eaters mostly looking toward locally sourced and locally grown items. Here are some of the report’s takeaways on innovative plant-based food companies.
Plants and AI to Promote Health
The future of food will focus more on how plants can be used to make food more functional, the report said.
One such example is San Francisco-based Brightseed. The biotech company uses artificial intelligence to scan decades worth of biomedical research to identify the most useful and beneficial phytonutrients from plants and link them to health targets.
The company plans to launch its first product in late 2020, but continues to actively research natural plant compounds that address health benefits related to immunity, cognition and digestion.
Another plant-based food maker embracing health trends is Miraculex. The California-based company uses plant and fermentation technologies to make food sweet without sugar and its negative health impact.
Five Key Themes From The Report
Over the next decade, the five key themes that will drive change in the food and beverage industry are:
- Wellness: Food will be consumed as a source of health and wellness.
- People: Continued population growth will create a plethora of new food and drink ideas that will cater to different generations.
- Planet: Environmentally conscious food companies will focus on engineered foods and new proteins.
- Experiences: Molecular gastronomy, artificial intelligence advances and immersive experiences will guarantee the food industry is “as innovative as ever.”
- Demand From Growing Middle Class: Pork is the most consumed meat in the Chinese market, and a surge of growth in the country’s middle class could present challenges.